OrVance LLC released the findings of its consumer research project which looked at the needs of orthodontic patients experiencing pain or abrasions associated with orthodontic treatment and found that aligner patients are underserved by the dental wax products currently on the market.
The project studied 766 purchases of traditional dental wax to learn why orthodontic patients purchase dental wax. According to Ron Schutt, CEO of OrVance, the biggest takeaway was the unmet need in the growing clear aligner segment for relief from pain, irritation, cuts, and abrasions.
The project found that 36% of purchases of conventional dental wax were for reasons other than the marketed and intended use for “braces.” Additionally, 20.3% of purchases were for patients in clear aligner treatment.
As Schutt says, “Even though traditional dental wax is not effective and is not marketed for use with clear aligners, over 20% of the dental wax purchased by patients is to seek protection and relief from the edges of clear aligner trays.”
Consumer comments indicated that many patients with clear aligners are not fully informed before treatment about pain and abrasions, and they are not typically provided a solution—e.g., patients report “going to the drug store” or “Googling the problem” to find a solution. Moreover, clear aligner patients report different areas of irritation than braces, as well as irritation with every new tray.
“These findings are very significant to not only reveal how we can improve the patient experience, but maximizing patient comfort during clear aligner treatment can also directly impact patient compliance,” said Scott Tyler, DDS, MS, orthodontist and partner at TDR Orthodontics and advisor to OrVance. “Different from braces, patients can just take out their trays to provide instant relief from pain and abrasions—but if they do that, we’re not moving their teeth and certainly not maximizing the satisfaction of our patients. OrthoDots CLEAR is the only product that addresses this unmet need so it is a great enhancement to clear aligner therapy.”
OrthoDots CLEAR is a dental wax alternative made from clear medical grade silicone that features a moisture-activated adhesive layer, and is designed to work with a range of fixed orthodontic appliances and clear aligners.
The project also found that 4.2% of consumers stated use of other orthodontic appliances including expanders, lingual brackets, TADs, and retainers, while 9.5% of consumers reported they purchased dental wax to address irritation and sensitivity from broken/sharp teeth or lost fillings.